SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- You'll see one color in abundance on Saturday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open as the tournament is stages its second annual "Green Out."
Players, caddies, fans and members of the host Thunderbirds have been asked to wear green to support the eco-sensitive efforts of its title sponsor at the tournament that has become known as the 'Greatest Show on Grass.' There is a more tangible benefit, too.
For every person who wears green, the Thunderbirds are making a donation to Arizona Clean & Beautiful, which is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to preserving, maintaining and enhancing the beauty and environmental quality of the. A "Green Squad" of WM environmental consultants will count and estimate the number of people sporting the color.
“I think it's cool what Waste Management is doing, creating awareness for the environment as well as supporting the PGA TOUR event,” said Phil Mickelson, wearing an emerald green shirt. “We're appreciative for all they've done.”
The Waste Management Phoenix Open annually attracts the largest crowds on the PGA TOUR so there should be plenty of green in evidence on Saturday. Attendance on Friday alone was estimated at 116,000 -- more than the 70,000 expected to show up for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The "Green Out" is one of many initiatives to raise attention for conservation and recycling this week at TPC Scottsdale. Among the tournament's priorities is a "Zero Waste Challenge" to help educate fans to properly dispose of trash to divert it from landfills. For example, recycling and compost bins, as well as solar-powered compactors, will be used rather than trash receptacles.
Small wonder, then, that the Waste Management Phoenix Open was awarded “Best Title Sponsor Integration” by the PGA TOUR in 2011.